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Hi,

I'm new here and would love some advice about Bruno my dog who is nearly 1 year old.

Just this week he has started showing mild signs of aggression towards other dogs, not all dogs, just random ones.

Is this usual for his age? He is the softest dog ever and obeys commands easily and always has. He has never showed any fear and has never barked at another dog before this week.

When he started barking and/or growling I tell him to sit and he does, so I'm guessing it's not a big issue.

Really what I need to know is do you think this is just a bad week he's having and am I doing the right thing (I don't tell him off - just make him sit which seems to calm him).

I may be worrying about nothing I just like to keep on top of things before they get worse.
 

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I learned the hard way with one of my dogs! My experience has been that it isn't enough to just have the dog sit, there has to be more or the attention will eventually flow back to the other dog(s).
For me it has been a game of catch up with focus work. I have been working really, really hard with my 16 month old neutered male on the "watch me" command. So now I am having him sit and watch me before he ever reacts to another dog. I might have him drop into a down and then raise into a sit. All to keep him thinking about me and not the other dog(s). As far as I am concerned, if he is not watching me and waiting to see what comes next, he has too much free time to focus on the other dog(s). It is important that we start the focus stuff before the reaction ever has a chance to happen. Or even before he has a chance to consider it.
I am having great results so far. But like I said, I have had to play catch up because I thought I knew enough to manage his leash aggression and fear issues around other dogs. It took a bad bite to me before I woke up and realized that I couldn't manage it, and I went straight to a trainer I was familiar with so I could get help.
Good luck!
Sheilah
 
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